The need to put down a person to make yourself seem clever and more environmentally conscious is unfortunate. Isn’t comparing/measuring part of our problem as a culture? If every act has to be an umbrella containing all the answers, one would hardly make an attempt. True change is done in incremental steps, as one broadens their scope of understanding of their own impulses and needs. I have not read or seen Marie Kondo’s work, however I know people who have been transformed by her unique, kind and spiritual process. This is not a fad, as deep introspection and reflection are called for. And I do believe that the person ends up making much broader, sweeping changes that this author would like to see happen. There is always more to do to make this beautiful planet thrive. Kindness, respect, love and joy are certainly the tools necessary for this - not arrogant superiority.
I really see no reason that Marie Kondo has a responsibility to address the environmental crisis in any way of she does not feel internally compelled to do so. Alexandra Spring clearly felt so compelled - but instead of trusting her position on wastefulness to persuade on its own merits - Spring hitchhikes on Marie Kondo's fame to get where she wants to go while carping that Kondo didn't buy a Prius.
Kondo makes her own excellent point and has improved the quality of many people's lives in her own way, delivering her own message. There is nothing about being successful at delivering a message in which she believes (message A) which make Kondo responsible for delivering a different message (message B) because someone else believes that message B is positive and important.
Jillian - maybe the term you are looking for is self-righteous fame parasite?
Is there a word for this? When someone bashes a popular thing in order to grandstand their personal agenda? Marie Kondo has been able to get through to people purely because she doesn't judge or shame. The majority of people would feel completely overwhelmed and intimidated by disposing of their junk in the most eco conscience way and probably simply wouldn't do it. They would continue to lose and mistreat their things, buying them again because they can't find them or damaged them in the disarray, creating more waste that will be hauled away in the same garbage bags when the individual dies in their stuff-filled abode because they were too ashamed and guilty to take anything out of it.
The KonMari method works because it is accessible and kind. If followed correctly it absolutely teaches you to respect and appreciate what you own. Inevitably leading you to not purchase things that you don't have a place for or don't need. When following the method you are supposed to thank the things you are discarding for whatever it taught you. 'Thank you flowy blouse I never wore for teaching me that I don't like to wear flowy blouses. Thanks to you, I won't buy one again.'
There needs to be a purge. We are a society with an epidemic of clutter and excess. Of course it'd be nice if we could just give everyone a clean slate and say this is how you should think of the impact of everything you buy and dispose of but we aren't there. And not everyone cares about the environment. It's a shame but it's also a fact. If this method has a positive impact on the environment by proxy then I think it should be celebrated. There is similar in-fighting amongst vegetarians and vegans. Some vegans think anything that doesn't promote a 100% vegan diet is harmful because it doesn't educate the bottom line that living beings should not be used for consumption. BUT things like Meatless Mondays and plant based trends that have nothing to do with animal rights are still causing less animals to be consumed.. and that is the goal. Even if it is a round about self-centered path, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up does result in people being more thoughtful about what they have & bring into their homes which does lead to less mindless consumption.
Lastly, the author condemns donating unwanted goods to charities.. but then mentions how to dispose of things properly by repairing or repurposing them or lastly donating them to charity.. Charities that function by selling donated items definitely benefited from Marie's netflix special. If the disposal of the unwanted goods didn't outweigh to benefit of selling the good stuff then this tried and true system wouldn't exist.
All in all: watch the show, read the book.. I found it really helpful and positive in a personal and global way. Being surrounded by things that you love in a neat and organized way quiets the little voice in our heads and all the advertisements that we see everyday that tell us that we need more.
Oh man. This comment is so so so good. Better than the original article!
I’m glad you’re such an MK fan! I am too! I haven’t seen the show but I’ve read her books. Especially in the last year I’ve gotten more and more hardcore about living a very simple, stuff-free lifestyle, although it was 5 years ago that I did my first mega purge when moving onto a sailboat.
My original comment, in hindsight, is kinda pointless. I remember googling the definition of “apt” and also thinking “I wonder if people will mix that up with apartment?” and that was pretty much it.
Kondo is brilliant because she stays on point - the emotional, borderline spiritual connection between human and thing. I guess I didn’t have a negative opinion of the author because I just thought she was adding something to the conversation (consumerism, over-consumption) that is indeed very important.
I’m still torn. On the one hand, Kondo’s an untouchable legend who can do no wrong. On the other, I think I do want her to (in some joyful way) address the environmental crisis.
Last thing This is an excellent companion concept/book/author/sage of stuff: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35297297-the-gentle-art-of-swedish-death-cleaning?from_search=true
There certainly should be a single word to describe what this piece is since it's unfortunately so pervasive in online culture today, some unholy combination of opportunism, virtue signalling and stating the obvious done in the most obnoxious way possible. Shaming is definitely a crucial aspect of this phenomenon. Even the title of the piece is a call out.
The culture is so toxic that trying to do something positive and different instantly puts a target on your back. Incremental, localized change is a threat to those who instead sit on the sidelines and do nothing but criticize and shame others for never doing enough. It would be better if everyone just gave up and played the digital outrage game full time since it doesn't require any real effort and it's what these people are good at.
In my opinion, the author of the article likes to judge people and overthinks things. I believe we are all a little wasteful, on the other hand it helps stimulate the global economy. If people stopped buying out of pleasure and up cycled everything the economy would take worldwide. That’s why the environmental crisis is such a complicated issue.
yeah this is pretty apt